Living Infomation

Comprehensive Living Guide for Foreign Residents in Japan

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Animals and pets

  • Every pet has its own life. Be a responsible owner and take good, lifelong care of your pet.
  • Pets can easily become a cause of trouble with neighbors over issues such as noise, smell and shedding hair. If you wish to keep pets, consider these matters carefully and follow your local community's rules and manners for keeping pets.
  • It is generally prohibited to take your pet with you to restaurants and public facilities.
  • Keeping pets may not be allowed in some housing complexes. Check in advance if it is allowed to keep pets in your building.
  • Animals that could attack people such as medium-size monkeys, raptorial birds (eagles and hawks), crocodiles and snakes are categorized as special animals. If you wish to keep one as a pet, you are required to obtain permission from the municipal authorities. Contact the Animal Protection and Consultation Center of the Bureau of Social Welfare and Public Health for more details.
Keeping dogs

Dog registration

  • You are required to register a new pet dog within 30 days from the date you become the owner. Registration is accepted at the municipal office in the ward (or city, town or village) where you reside and public health center.
  • Once you register your dog, you will receive a license tag, which should be attached to the dog's collar.
  • You need to report events such as your change of address, change of owner, or the dog's death to the municipal office in the ward (or city, town or village) where you reside.

Rabies vaccination

  • Your dog is required to receive a rabies vaccination once a year between April 1 and June 30.
  • If your new dog is 91 days old or older, you need to have your dog vaccinated within 30 days from the date you become the owner.
  • Once you receive a rabies vaccination, you will receive a vaccination certificate, which should be attached to the dog's collar.

Manners for dog walking

  • The owner is responsible for taking dog feces back home for disposal. Take a plastic bag with you when you take your dog for a walk.
  • Always keep your dog on a leash when taking it for a walk or to busy places.
Keeping cats

Cat owners are required by municipal authorities "to keep the cat in such a manner so as it won't disturb other citizens."

Three basic principles of keeping cats:

  • Keep your cat in a house.
  • Use a collar marked with address and name of the owner.
  • Have your cat sterilized and castration.
Bringing pets into Japan from abroad

Bringing dog/cat/fox/raccoon/skunk into Japan from abroad

  • If you wish to bring your dog, cat, etc. into Japan, you are required to notify the animal quarantine service of your port of entry of the required information about your animal at least 40 days prior to arrival in Japan.
  • Dogs and cats brought from outside Japan are subject to quarantine and are held at quarantine facilities.
  • The period of quarantine may vary from 12 hours to 180 days.
  • The import procedure for the above animals may vary according to the country of export. Do your own research thoroughly before your departure.

Bringing other pets into Japan from abroad

  • For other types of animals, the quarantine procedure may vary according to the country of export. You may obtain more information from the embassy/consulate of the export country in Japan.
  • The import of certain animals is prohibited according to the Washington Convention. Parrots, parakeets and snakes may be bought and kept as pets, however, certain species are targeted, so be careful which ones you buy.
When your pets die

You may request help for the correct disposal of your deceased pet from the municipal office in the ward (or city, town or village) where you reside. The handling process may vary according to each community, from individual/group cremation to burial with other refuse. For more information, contact the citizen service section of the municipal office in the ward (or city, town or village) where you reside.

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